Chapter 126- Disturbance at the Tournament (3)
Taking into consideration the history of humanity, artificial intelligence was one of the sciences that had taken the longest to be born, but it was also the one that had progressed the fastest.
The public had become aware of its advances for the first time when they’d seen an artificial intelligence that could play Go.
Looking back, that was an artificial intelligence that ran on basic principles, but it was so revolutionary at the time that some people began asking if it wouldn’t create a future where robots ruled over us.
Computer processing, search, and voice translators, among many other things.
It didn’t take long before artificial intelligence started being used in various industries.
NPCs inside video games weren’t the exception. VR video games had started to change.
NPCs that thought and acted as humans…
The first time virtual reality games with artificial intelligence appeared, game companies had said in interviews that the NPCs didn’t have fixed action patterns.
But to be more precise, it was only a half-truth that NPCs were just like humans.
Within a given framework, NPCs inside games were superior to humans, but once the environment changed, they became stupid.
NPCs that ran shops were only interested in making a profit, and soldiers blindly obeyed their superiors.
There were some cases in which they had complaints about the orders given, but they couldn’t mutiny.
“Isn’t that the same in real life? Only a few people can probably truly think and act independently.”
The first person who’d developed AI NPCs had been criticized for saying that, but as time passed, people had to agree with his opinion while smiling bitterly.
Most people lived in automatic mode, so they weren’t that different from an NPC.
Inspiration that increased your awareness…
A revolution that breaks the mold…
Those were characteristics that only a few people had in real life.
From a certain point, people began thinking that NPCs resembled humans only within given parameters.
“I’m going to give you an oracle.”
The noble voice of the Archangel of Truth rang in the audience’s ears.
“Pray to me.”
There hadn’t been any NPCs that were aware of the real world during the construction of Asrian.
There was no way the developers had given them the command to ‘be aware of the real world.’
But the NPC in front of them was aware of the outside world. Not only that, but she had sent a message to the audience.
That was something that should’ve been impossible for NPCs.
The NPC had extended her range of perception by herself.
Kwon DaeHo was smiling while the audience had their mouths agape in surprise.
It worked in a completely different way since it had been created by following the design principles of the brain.
If the announcement of the first day connected Asrian physically with the real world, on the second day, the ‘awareness’ which was what differentiated humans from NPCs had been torn down.
‘I should be satisfied with this by now.’
Of course, there were some disappointing things.
Creating one second-generation AI consumed a lot of system resources.
If he tried to apply that on every NPC in Asrian, it would end up overloading the servers.
That’s why the solution they’d come up with was easy.
They would only make Archangels and Great Demons as second-generation AI.
For other Transcendents, Heavenly Beings, Dukes, and other NPCs that played an important role in the story, they would use a AI that was somewhere in between first and second-generation.
The more important role the NPC played in the story, the better AI technology they used on it.
The second-generation AIs had awareness, could think and judge independently, and even had something you could call emotions.
“I know users aren’t interested in praying.”
The voice of Truth kept spreading through the tournament arena.
“But a day will come when «Pray» is necessary. So please, «Pray» while thinking about me. You’ll soon discover why you need to do that…”
The Archangel of Truth didn’t remain in the real world for a long period of time.
Just as she appeared, she became lightning and disappeared.
The players who had come out of the capsules looked around in confusion.
Kang SeongCheol quickly silenced the commotion as people began to mumble.
He explained why the Archangel had appeared.
Explaining that it was a new type of artificial intelligence took quite some time.
As the tournament ended, the internet was flooded with Asrian-related headlines just like the day before.
That was the second consecutive successful hit.
Translator – Daniel Shin
Proofreader – ilafy
* * *
Some articles used the bible as a comparison to talk about Kwon DaeHo.
The new incident caused an uproar not only in the academic community but also had a tremendous impact on the public.
Scholars knew that the development of a second-generation was in process, so they weren’t that surprised, but that wasn’t the case for most people.
Pictures and videos of the footage of the Archangel that’d appeared in the tournament arena quickly spread through the internet.
– Isn’t that a trick? Maybe it was programmed to say those things.
– Do you really think Kwon DaeHo would do something like that? He’s a very prideful person.
– I’m living in the future!
– I’m finally going to get a girlfriend. I just have to download Asrian, right?
– Even if you do that, it won’t make sense unless you meet a second-generation AI…
Not only the news but also Asrian community boards were full of threads talking about it.
– Asking us to «Pray» to her… does she think she’s god?
– She’s a god. Truth, Light, Order. These three are the Archangels with the highest hierarchy in the Heavens. You can find more information about them on the internet.
– But who raises the level of «Pray» nowadays? I’ve never seen a strategy where «Pray» was involved.
– Then don’t learn it. I’m going to learn it alone.
Users were surprised by the appearance of a second-generation AI, but they were also interested in what she’d said.
An Archangel was an NPC of the highest hierarchy in the world.
There had to be a reason why someone like that had given them an oracle.
What if there was a hidden quest related to it?
Excited, users tried to decipher the meaning behind the oracle.
But users soon discovered that they did not need to do that.
Both Heavens and Abyss users within the game had received the same message.
Normally, that would’ve ended with a little bit of fuss.
– I, ‘Truth’, request of you. Offer me your prayers. Empathize with me.
– The doors of the Heavens will open once a week. The most faithful believers will get to see the Heavens with their own eyes.
– Also, even people who lack Empathy will get permission to access the Heavens.
1. Rank among the top 500 in Empathy for a week.
(※ This ranking will reset every week!)
2. Empathy Cumulative Ranking, top 500.
(※ The moment you access the Heavens, the cumulative ranking will be reset!)
The voice of the Archangel spread through the universe.
It wasn’t hard to realize that it was the same voice as the one that they had heard in the tournament arena.
The contents of the oracle were the same as the one the Truth had said in the real world.
She asked them to «Pray» to her! Many users seemed troubled.
– It’s real. The god of Asrian descended to the real world, lol.
– Heavens? Where’s that?
– Take us to Paradise? Is this some sort of religious cult? lol
– Heavens, not Paradise.
– They’re already going to open the gates to the Heavens? Is this real?
There were all kinds of reactions.
Some users found it ridiculous, but others were interested.
Some of the users had already learned the «Pray» skill.
They had learned it because it was a free skill, but they’d stopped leveling it up and had forgotten about it until then because it took too much time to raise a level.
After trying «Pray» once again, those people were surprised by how fast it was leveling up.
The speed at which the proficiency rate went up couldn’t be compared to before.
– What? Why is the level of «Pray» going up so fast so suddenly?!
– Mine is still the same.
– Everyone, think of the image of the Angel while praying. The speed at which the proficiency rate increases can’t be compared to before.
– Woah, it’s true. LOL. Thanks for the tip!
Praying was the act of empathizing with a Transcendent.
It was useless if you didn’t have a clear image in your head.
Basically, up until then, users had been using «Pray» to a non-existing being.
But the moment the Angel had shown up before them, they’d gotten a clear image of Truth inside their heads.
Everyone had gotten the minimum requirements to be able to empathize, so it was normal that the effect of «Pray» couldn’t be compared to before.
– What can we do in the Heavens?
– You can get sacred power. You can get more information here link(…)
– If your job is a Priest or Holy Knight, you’ll have to go to the Heavens eventually, so it would be great if you could go there beforehand.
– I’m part of Abyss. What would happen if I went there?
– I think you’d be screwed.
Lots of information related to the Heavens was released.
A Transcendent could exercise force based on the amount of Empathy received through «Pray».
For «Praying», people received sacred power.
Sacred Power was the opposite of magic, so the skills that used it were stronger than normal ones.
Users got to know many things they weren’t interested in before.
It wasn’t long before the communities became full of threads about the Angels and «Pray».
– Isn’t this an opportunity? Even rankers haven’t raised the level of «Pray» yet. If we can get to the Heavens faster than them, maybe we’ll be able to catch up.
– I’m not sure about catching up… but the difference would probably get smaller.
– Where can I learn «Pray»?
As another path of growth opened, temples around Asrian became full of users.
Asrian had tens of millions of players during weekdays, but that number increased to hundreds of millions during weekends.
But Asrian users knew the face of only one Transcendent!
All the «Pray»s around the world began flowing naturally toward Truth.
Suddenly, the meta of the game became «Pray».
This was the plan that Truth had foreseen.
“Her words were right indeed…”
Since the Holy Kingdom was the place with the most temples, it became full of users.
The Pope could see users with their eyes closed, praying, everywhere.
He couldn’t help but smile at the scene.
Once again, he was amazed by the bigger picture of the Archangel.
“Was she trying to fill what we lost on Iluna with users?”
Skills that used sacred power worked differently from normal magic, so its power varied greatly depending on the principle of causality of the world.
The reason was that sacred magic was a power you used by borrowing the strength of a Transcendent.
After the Heavens lost Iluna, Priests had lost strength.
[The influence of the Heavens has weakened!]
[The power of sacred magic has been weakened by 5%!]
Many users who were playing as Priests received that message after Iluna’s Quest.
There had been a huge commotion on the Priest community boards because of it…
[The Heavens are recovering their strength!]
But after Truth appeared and they received that message, people calmed down.
Thanks to millions of people becoming faithful believers, things became balanced once more.
Users weren’t yet used to the influence of the different forces, but the Pope was more sensitive regarding the balance of Transcendents.
The Pope created a sphere of light in his hands.
—It was bigger and shinier than the one he’d created the day before.
As Truth recovered her strength, all of the Priests became stronger again.
A thought crossed the Pope’s mind.
‘What if we recover Iluna right now…?’
They had already started to recover sacred power…
But Iluna, just by existing, increased the world’s holy energy!
If the power of the users was added to the Heavens, maybe… they would be able to eliminate all of the monsters that lived in the Underground.
“Is a new era about to open…?”
The Pope could feel his dream getting closer to becoming a reality.
He politely bowed his head toward the place where the broken statue of Truth was.